US considering sanctions against China over alleged cyber theft

The United States is considering imposing a round of sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals that are related to the alleged hacking of US trade secrets.

Citing several unidentified Obama administration officials, The Washington Post reported Sunday that a final decision on whether to issue the sanctions was expected soon possibly as early as the next two weeks.

The sanctions would freeze the financial and property assets of, and bar commercial transactions with, individuals and entities overseas, according to the Post.

“As the president said when signing the executive order enabling the use of economic sanctions against malicious cyber actors, the administration is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to confront such actors,” said a senior administration official.

“That strategy includes diplomatic engagement, trade policy tools, law enforcement mechanisms, and imposing sanctions on individuals or entities that engage in certain significant, malicious cyber-enabled activities,” the official added.

The US has, for years, accused the Chinese government and military of conducting computer-based attacks, including efforts to steal information from US government agency that compromised the personnel records of at least 4.2 million current and former government workers.

China, however, has dismissed the hacking allegations as “irresponsible and unscientific.”

 

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